The ArtStart roster of artists for our summer programming includes both artists and arts educators who represent diverse cultural backgrounds and art forms. All have a deep commitment to the arts and nurturing each person’s creative artist within. ArtStart artists and staff cordially invite you to start your summer with the arts!
DRAWING/PAINTING • CLAY
Karen Anderson is a retired elementary art educator. She especially enjoys teaching drawing and painting to young children. Her personal artmaking interests range from drawing and painting, to photography, to pottery. She is an avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast.
PUPPETRY • MASKMAKING • ARCHITECTURE
Gustavo Boada is a theater-based multidisciplinary artist with more than 22 years of working in professional theater in Peru, Chile, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. He is known for his work with traditional dance and performance masks, as well as designing and building puppets, performance structures and set design. In 2007 he was invited by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre to be part of the May Day staff.
PUPPETRY • MASKMAKING • BEADWORK
Julie Boada is an Anishinabe artist, storyteller, puppeteer and art educator. She has worked regionally and nationally for the past 25 years, both with Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and independently. Julie has received grants from Minnesota State Arts Board and Jerome Foundation. She has a B.A. in Studio Arts and American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about work that fosters cultural pride and value.
PUPPETRY • MASKMAKING • TEXTILES
Anne Sawyer-Aitch has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Latin American Studies, with emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Graduating with Distinction. Anne has worked as a puppeteer, arts educator, and stilt walker for many Twin Cities groups, including In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Open Eye Figure Theatre, the Ordway, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Chicks on Sticks, ArtStart, and the Minnesota Zoo.
PAINTING • MOSAIC • MIXED MEDIA
Jeanette Dickinson received BA in art with a focus on sculpture, from the University of Minnesota. Jeanette has works in private collections, and recently illustrated the book, Nature Seeker Workbook. “It is my belief that bringing art to a community is an expression of how we perceive, respond and record the world around us. We share in a moment of creation our thoughts, feelings and history as an individual and as a society.”
Lyton Gallapa-Naula is the director of a well-know Ecuadorian dance group called Away Runakuna. He began his passion for Ecuadorian folk dance at the age of 11 years old! As the director of Away Runakuna, he presents the history and traditions from different Ecuadorian regions and incorporates them into dance.
INSTRUMENT MAKING • MUSIC COMPOSITION
Born in Jamaica, Douglas R. Ewart is a professional musician, composer, and instrument builder. His appearances in the Twin Cities and Chicago are met with rave reviews by the contemporary music community in which Ewart showcases his musical and instrument construction skill performing/improvising on instruments he builds using a variety of recycled and salvaged materials. Ewart has taught in ArtStart’s summer interdisciplinary arts program since its inception in 1992.
Lisa Himmelstrup is a teacher, art therapist, and clay artist with over 30 years experience in classroom and community settings, including teaching ceramics for 14 years at St. Paul Central High School. She currently teaches at the Northern Clay Center, and creates her own clay work in her home studio for shows and sales.
Kuyayki Peru is a non-profit organization that promotes Peruvian culture through education and events in which they share the arts, food and a variety of handicrafts from Peru. They perform at festivals, school events, and more throughout Minnesota.
Christopher has played a variety of roles in dance and theater since his early school days. As an independent teaching artist, he works in schools and performs on stages across the globe including the Twin Cities, Budapest, Prague, Las Vegas, and Seoul. Christopher has been affliated with ArtStart since 1992.
Brittany Reif-Wenner teaches the Start with the Arts pre-school program. She is a graduate of St. Cloud State University with a BFA in painting and print making. Brittany joined ArtStart in 2018 and quickly became a popular teaching artist with her enthusiasm for and skill in teaching art to all ages.